The Tehama County Sheriff’s Department says they don’t believe the two dogs accused of killing two farm animals were to blame.

Last Tuesday, 11-year-old Timothy Drury’s goat Patches and 14-year-old Allyson Drury’s lamb Marvin were found mauled to death in their pen. They were supposed to be shown at the Tehama County Fair in the 4-H event. A Great Dane and Pit Bull were found in the same area as the dead animals and picked up by the Tehama County Animal Control.

One week later, Tehama County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Greer said there wasn’t enough evidence to link the dogs to the killings. The Pit Bull has been claimed by its owner and the Great Dane was adopted from the Tehama County Animal Shelter Tuesday morning. The manager at the shelter said it was a positive ending for the dogs, but it could have been much worse.

“Dogs kill livestock for different reasons, they didn’t seem bloody is the only thing I know and they seemed very good natured but I can’t speculate,” said Animal Care Center Manager Christine McClintock.

McClintock said that for some dogs, killing livestock is a game of run and catch, they have a prey drive and it goes back to when they were wild. This is a tendency that can give dogs a bad reputation. However, the Pit Bull and Great Dane found near the mauled lamb and goat didn’t have blood on them or carry the stench of animal remains. This led investigators to believe they were possibly in the wrong place at the wrong time.

About 80 percent of the dogs that end up in the Tehama County Shelter are found running loose in the street. McClintock said it’s usually because the pet’s owners didn’t properly contain them.

“It is not ok to let your dogs run loose even if you don’t think they are bothering someone, odds are they are all. All it has to do is get loose chase a cat run into a field with livestock and get killed,” said McClintock.

In California, it is legal for people to kill dogs that are bothering farmers’ livestock. Since the two dogs were wandering around the dead livestock, it was assumed they killed them. They could have easily been killed as well, a danger that McClintock says pet owners need to be aware of.

“It is important to be responsible for your dog if you are going to own it get them licensed and neutered and keep them on your property,” said McClintock.

The Tehama County Sheriff’s Department said this is not an active investigation, but it is not a closed case either. If you have any information, contact their office at (530) 527-7900.